Enemy at the gate? Models of response to contemporary religious plurality
Pratt, D. (2006). Enemy at the gate? Models of response to contemporary religious plurality. Paper presented at the Isolation: Disconnection, Solitude and Seclusion in a Connected World Conference, 14-16 December, University of Tasmania.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/753
Ours is age of plurality in all things. Yet, plurality has always been the case: difference, diversity, multiplicity – that which tends to disconnectedness in whatever sphere of human life – has ever been the lot of humanity. Religion is no exception. Yet while most religions would hold that unity – the uniformity and coherence suggestive of an inherent connectedness – is a sine qua non, the lived reality of religious people everywhere is often the context of, and contention with, a disconnectedness which is consequent upon difference of viewpoint, variety of experience, clash of interpretation, and competing claims for religious allegiance and identity. This can be the case both within any one major religious tradition as well as between them. Given the ubiquitous nature of religion and the pressing need for improved interreligious relations in many parts of the world, the question of how the fact of religious plurality is apprehended from within the religions themselves is critical. Naturally every religion proffers its own hermeneutic of the religiously ‘other’. Typically, this has included variations on the themes of exclusivity and inclusiveness.